Auroras Has Taken Off

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Gorilla previously covered Niles Heckman’s Kickstarter campaign for a short sci-fi-romance film back in January, and we were glad, if unsurprised, to see it gain traction. We can’t know that it was Gorilla’s coverage that ensured the successful funding of the film – we can think and tell people that, but we can’t really know it – and we’re sure Heckman’s track record and exciting, well-presented vision for Auroras had some part to play. Well in only seven months (that’s less than the time to gestate a human embryo!), Heckman and his team have put everything together and given ecstatic birth!

And what an emotionally charged and evocative child it is! The promised Makoto Shinkai-inspired visuals are brilliantly rendered and the CGI is as glossy as we expected, but it turns out Heckman had tricks up his sleeve too. There’s a hugely emotive soundtrack, the acting is passionate, and the crescendo of the film packs a lot more of a punch in three minutes than we anticipated. And to cram more content in, there’s a lot of symbolism that would be easy to miss: Heckman himself alerts viewers to the alarm-clock that stands as a visual synecdoche for the controlling frameworks erected by technology, the shape of the pod foreshadows a plot reveal, and allegories of birth and transcendence abound.

With a concentration on form, Auroras only gives us a snapshot into the lives of two cyborgs being separated, but it’s a snapshot with enough intensity and suggestion that we’re now thrilled at the potential for a feature film. With the skill on display and the narrative possibilities afforded by Heckman’s setting, it should be a fascinating project to follow.

Find out more on the website.

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After being bitten by a radioactive English teacher as a child, Maxamillian John grew up to become an editor and writer. Born in London he now lives in the internet, having neither the money nor the constitution for real life. He has two degrees, but who cares?

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